Ayush practitioners allowed to conduct research on covid-191 min read . Updated: 02 May 2020, 12:42 AM IST
- Interventions during the quarantine period will be coupled with lab-based research
- Traditional medicine practitioners have to follow ICMR norms, and register with Clinical Trials Registry if they are conducting clinical trials
BENGALURU : The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, the national regulatory body for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, has permitted Ayurveda, homeopathy, and siddha practitioners to conduct research at covid-19 quarantine centres to better understand the disease.
In a notification issued last week, the Ayush ministry said: “Indian traditional medicines have wide potential for usage in such conditions owing to their longstanding use in the community, ancient references, and clinical efficacy. Therefore, it is felt necessary to make serious efforts for the development of drugs based on any Ayush systems recognized under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. The ministry has consulted the Drugs Controller General of India."
Integrated medicine expert and member of Ayush Task Force, Dr. Issac Mathai, said Indians have resilient immune systems.
“Our exposure to viruses is more common than in the West. Turmeric, ginger, amla, lemon, and honey are anti-bacterial that we consume on a daily basis from a young age. We are studying the link between covid recovery, consumption of these foods and immunity building."
The interventions during the quarantine period will be coupled with lab-based research, Mathai added.
“We have held consultations with CDSCO and DCGI to ensure there were no hurdles, and they have permitted us to go ahead. Work has started in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune."
The ministry has told traditional medicine practitioners to follow ICMR guidelines and to register with the clinical trials registry if they were to conduct clinical trials.
“Yoga, nutrition and mindfulness help build a good immune system. Low immunity can increase susceptibility to and aggressiveness of covid-19," said Dr. M. Raghavendra Rao, director, Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), ministry of Ayush, Delhi.
Allopathic doctors said there was no single solution to a pandemic.
“The attack on the immune system must be stopped. To ensure more lives are saved, we must supplement current medicines with ancient systems of healing. We must be open-minded," said noted neurosurgeon Dr. N. Venkataramana.